Forgive My Fins appeals strongly to my giggly inner teen. Fresh, romantic and magical, Terra Lynn Childs' third novel is one to love!
Essentially, Forgive my Fins is about Lily's attempts at correcting her accidental 'marriage' with Quince, the next-door neighbour who just happens to be the one person who can worm his way beneath her fins and irritate her. An unexpected kiss between these two bond them together as mermates and between that and Lily's undying, three-year affection for Brody, they spell trouble with a capital T.
Lily is a loveable character. Bubbly and charming, she has an authentic feel to her voice. Her use of sea metaphors and references (for instance 'son of swordfish') saturates her narrative, is incredibly funny and is critical to that 'mermaid feel' in her voice. The author's use of a first person narrative gives a sense of direct communication between Lily and the readers so every bit of her mermaid lore and terminologies act much like an introduction to a riveting mer kingdom I could not have enough of! Thalassinia comes to life in Lily's vivid descriptions and immersing one's self in mermaid lore is an engaging side effect of reading Forgive My Fins. The author has crafted a very authentic, very magical underwater world in this book!
Quince is a darling. Obnoxious, slightly irritating but overbearingly sweet, he is simply character to adore. I could not help but root for him throughout the book. Quince and Lily's love-hate relationship is such a classic, but it's clear from the beginning that there is more to it that just teasing. In the same light, as the plot progresses, readers learn more about Quince, and he begins to be a character with depth. Despite their classic relationship, the originality of the plot offsets this. You'll not only lose yourself in Quince and Lily's banters but also in their underwater adventures!
I love every Quince-Lily moment - innocent, sweet and full of witty exchanges, I just could not help but giggle. I was so giddy with these two! I had so much fun to watch the conflict between Lily's strengthening bond with Quince and her feelings for Brody, not to mention the reluctance of her father to grant them the separation. Best of all, it was interesting to note the changes in her feelings and the growth that she undergoes throughout the novel.
What makes Forgive My Fins such a delightful read is not limited to her attempts at having the bonds severed, but what occurs between the lines at her every attempt. Quince's constant presence in her life - now even more pronounced because of the bond - forces her out of shell. Lily learns to appreciate beyond the superficial and gain her much needed courage.
There is little I didn't like in this novel. There is the lack of characterisation with the foils, for one. Believe me, I love all the characters, but they only slightly developed. They were not very relevant to the plot, but still. I felt like I know Aunt Rachel's cat more than Aunt Rachel, and that is slightly worrying. Nothing much else, I have yet to resurface from Thalassinia magical hold on me!
With a charming array of characters, a magical underwater kingdom to feel at home in, and a sweet romance in the whole midst of it, what better book to immerse your summer with than Forgive My Fins?